Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Unexpected Joys of Mushroom Soup and Tahini Pesto

It's been a really long time since I posted any recipes. Here are two I made this summer, which were awesome enough to remind me that I have a recipe blog! The first is a non-intentional vegan recipe--Tahini Pesto Pasta Salad. All the nutty, creamy flavor of regular pesto, but with tahini instead of nuts and cheese! It was an unexpected delight. And the second recipe is my first try (!) at making Mushroom Soup. I, of course, can't make a simple soup, so I added a little more protein, and some kale. I made it in the blazing warmth of August, but this soup would be great for a cold autumn evening.
Tahini Pesto Pasta Salad

For the Tahini Pesto:
8 Tbsp. Tahini
2 Tbsp. minced Garlic
1½ cups Basil leaves
½ cup Parsley leaves
½ teaspoon Salt
Ground Black Pepper
1-2 Tbsp. Lemon juice, to taste
1 tsp. White Sugar
Olive Oil, as needed
¼ cup Water (more as needed)

For the pasta salad:
1 box/bag of shaped Pasta of your choice
1 heaping cup cherry or grape Tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 medium Zucchini s, cut into ¼-inch thick chunks
1/2-1 Red Onion, sliced (to taste)
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
1 cup Green Peas, fresh or frozen and thawed
1 can Garbanzo Beans

  1. Make Pesto: Combine tahini, garlic, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and sugar to a food processor or magic bullet. Pulse until everything is well blended, adding more water as needed.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Then drain water.
  3. Return pasta to the large pot and stir in tahini pesto. Add more olive oil as needed.
  4. In a large frying pan, sauté onions, red bell peppers, and zuccini.
  5. Combine pasta, sautéed vegetables, garganzo beans, and  sliced tomatoes. 
  6. Serve warm or cold

Wild Rice, Mushroom, Chicken and Kale Soup

1 cup wild rice
5 Tbsp. Butter, room temperature, divided
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 boxes of Mushrooms of your choice (Crimini, mini Portabello, etc.), chopped
1 Leek, sliced
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Tomato Paste
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium Chicken Broth
1 cup dry White Wine
3 tablespoons chopped Parsley
1 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
¼ teaspoon Salt
½ cup Heavy Cream
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
Chicken, cubed
Onions, minced
Kale, chopped

  1. In a medium pan, cook wild rice according to package’s instructions.
  2. In a medium skillet, sauté onions and chicken until tender. In the last minute, add kale. Set aside.
  3. In a large soup pot, melt butter with the olive oil. Add mushrooms, minced garlic, sliced leek and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the cooking vegetables and stir constantly, until the flour starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the wine and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add salt, ground black pepper, paprika, parsley, cooked rice, and chicken/onion/kale mixture, cream, and soy sauce, and cook until heated through.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Two Soups and a Risotto

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted a recipe. It's safe to say I haven't been very original in my cooking/baking lately. Honestly, I spent four weeks last Fall eating Italian Wedding soup every day for lunch. 

So here are two new soups and a risotto. I've been dreaming of getting an immersion blender, so after Christmas, I found a great deal online and finally bought one! Bring on the smooth soups (with chunks of meat and vegetables, of course, because that's how I roll). 

A few weeks ago on my way to the Art Institute I grabbed a bowl of Tomato Basil Soup at Cosi. It was the most amazing tomato soup I've ever tasted! After scouring the internet for copy-cat recipes, I've pulled together this first recipe. The second recipe is inspired by my friend, Kathy. I don't know how I've never made a fancy Ramen Soup before! And finally, the Risotto. On New Years Eve, I decided to make myself something super yummy, and based on what I had in my frig, it turned out to be risotto. I think it's going to be a tradition.


Tomato Basil Soup, with Sausage, Onions and Kale
(a Cosi copy-cat recipe)

Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can of diced Tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) can of Fire Roasted diced Tomatoes
2 cups of Chicken Broth
1 cup Half & Half or Heavy Cream
¼ cup fresh Basil, chopped
2 tsp Sugar
Black Pepper

Olive oil
1 large Red Onion
1 package of Italian Sausage (pork or chicken) or Chicken/Turkey Meatballs
3-4 cups chopped Kale

As mentioned above, stead of sausage, can use little meatballs like Italian Wedding Soup. (Pictured to the left. They are my go-to meat in soups lately).

In a large pot, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, stirring often. Add tomato paste; stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. puree with an immersion blender in the saucepan, or you can also serve a chunky soup. Stir in creamer, fresh basil, sugar, garlic powder, pepper and salt to taste.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté onions. A few minutes in, add ground Italian Sausage. When onions are browned and meat is cooked, add the kale, and spices. Cook a few minutes longer, and then add to the finished soup.
Serve with Parmesan Cheese.

Homemade Ramen Soup with Mushrooms, Chicken, and Spinach 

Olive Oil
1 package of Mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp minced Garlic
1 Tbsp grated fresh Ginger
1 Tbsp Cooking Wine
5 cups Chicken Stock
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Oil
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
2 packages of Ramen Noodles (discard the seasoning packets)
1/2 cup sliced Scallions
1/2 cup Baby Spinach Leaves
Cubed Chicken, already cooked (Rotisserie Chicken works best)
Fresh Cilantro
Crushed Peanuts

In a medium or large soup pot, heat oil and then add mushrooms. Cook until tender and brown. Add garlic and ginger. Saute for a minute, and then add chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil, then herbs, scallions, spinach, noodles, and chicken.

Serve with cilantro and peanuts.

Parmesan Risotto with Sausage and Asparagus

4 cups of Chicken Broth or Stock
1 ½ cups water
4 Tbsp Butter
1 small Onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Garlic
2 cups Rice
1 cup White Wine or Cooking Wine
1 cup Heavy Cream or Half & Half
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Parsley

Sausage (pork or chicken)

In a medium sauce pan, bring the broth and water to a boil. Remove from heat and cover.

In a large soup pot, melt butter. Add in onion and saute until soft. Add garlic and rice and cook until grains are translucent around the edges (Stirring frequently, around 3-5 minutes).

Add in the wine and stir constantly until wine is fully absorbed (about 3 minutes). Then stir in almost all of the heated broth, and cream, and reduce heat. Cover and simmer until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed (about 16-18 minutes), stirring 2-3 times.
Add the remaining 1 cup of hot broth and stir gently until risotto becomes creamy. Add in the Parmesan cheese and remove from heat. If risotto needs "loosened" add more broth until the desired consistency is achieved. Stir in parsley.

Serve with sausage and asparagus.

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